About the Author:
RON PARSONS is a writer living in Sioux Falls. Born in Michigan and raised in South Dakota, he was inspired to begin writing fiction in Minneapolis while attending the University of Minnesota. His short stories have appeared in many literary magazines and venues, including The Gettysburg Review, Indiana Review, Storyville App, The Briar Cliff Review, Flyway, and The Onion. His debut collection of stories, THE SENSE OF TOUCH, was released by Aqueous Books in 2013.
You can visit his website at http://ronparsonswriter.com/ or http://www.aqueousbooks.com/author_pages/24_parsons.htm.
About the Book:
world of Ron Parsons. In his debut collection, THE SENSE OF TOUCH (Aqueous Books; May 1, 2013), Parsons captures people of various ages in the act of searching for meaning and connection and themselves. Firmly set in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Michigan, the lush but often brutally cold heartland of America, the eight stories explore universal themes–loneliness, betrayal, transformation, hope–in fresh, sometimes fanciful, sometimes comical, sometimes jarring, and always moving and memorable ways.
In THE SENSE OF TOUCH, readers will meet:
* Naseem Sayem, the brilliant, troubled, and mystifying young man at the center of “Hezekiah Number Three.” A native of Bangladesh abruptly transplanted to the stark white suburbs of Rapid City at age nine, Naseem never fit in and eventually moved on to study physics at MIT–where, shortly before graduation and after shocking news of his father’s infidelity and abandonment, he apparently unraveled and vanished. Three months later, he reappeared out of the blue on his stepmom’s doorstep, holding a three-legged cat. Naseem’s long search for belonging reaches its apex in a hot air balloon floating over the Crazy Horse Monument.
* Waylon Baker, wheat farmer from birth, and Evie Lund, his wife of twenty-four years and counting, even though she had chosen to live far away–in the alien world of the Twin Cities–for eight years. The odd couple at the heart of “Beginning with Minneapolis,” Waylon and Evie can’t bear to live together or to divorce because they still love each other with a passion, reignited when they find themselves deep in the dirt, in a hole Waylon dug in his wheat field to serve as Evie’s grave.
* The nameless narrator of “The Sense of Touch,” a serious, young freshman at the University of Minnesota, fleeing yet still attached to his youth in Texas, haunted both by its predatory demons and its romantic dreams. His liberation comes through an alluring muse: his fiction-writing teacher. A ravishing, wild-haired, Memphis-born African-American graduate student, Vonda speaks directly to him when she makes her dramatic pronouncements. Like, “Our masks are not worn, people. They’re grown, day by day.” And “Never trust anything, not until you can touch it. With touch, you know you know.”
The old friends in “The Black Hills,” long separated by distance and tragedy, who unexpectedly compete for the affections of a lovely, vulnerable, and married Lakota woman…the young woman who, in the midst of a Halloween blizzard, stumbles into saving an elderly piano teacher’s life and faces hard facts about her own snow-bound relationships and emotions in “As Her Heart Is Navigated”…the exceptional grandfather in “Big Blue” and the playboy reformed by someone else’s grandson in “Moonlight Bowling”…and the professor of dead languages facing the mysteries of mortality in “Be Not Afraid of the Universe”… Through Ron Parsons, they all come to life, vividly and with emotional resonance, and work their way into the minds and hearts of readers.
Virtual Book Tour Highlights:
Praise for The Sense of Touch:
"This is a book about human nature. Each story explored people and their need to relate to others. Each story was different and well worth the read. My favorite was Big Blue, which was the shortest. I liked the memories of Adam and his grandfather. I know what losing a loved one feels like and I could relate to this story."
-- Deal Sharing Aunt (Click here to read more)
"With a total of eight stories making up this collection Parsons’ gives us people who could be anybody and who in some way can be related to by everybody. The absurd stories are beautiful and engaging, while offering an insight into the lives and mind of others, with a touch of the unspoken, and certainly one of lasting impression."
-- Lost In a Good Book (click here to read more)
"This is the debut for this author, and I plan on reading anything else he publishes. I love his writing style and the way he makes you “feel” for the characters."
-- I'd Rather Be At The Beach (click here to read more)
"Take chances. Less is almost always more. The input of other writers and readers is important, but you can’t allow your own voice to become obscured. Character has to be established in some way in the first few sentences and paragraphs. Something has to happen and it probably ought to be a surprise. If something isn’t working in a particular story, don’t be afraid to take it out. But save it in a different file. You might find a home for it in another story someday. And finally, persistence is your truest ally and procrastination your greatest foe."
-- PUYB Virtual Book Club (click here to read more)
"The theme of “The Sense of Touch” is the importance of connecting with others and how we are inevitably changed, for better or worse, by those encounters. The book’s epigraph is from a wonderful Wallace Stevens poem called “It Must Change,” and the cover, designed by my publisher Cynthia Reeser, depicts a butterfly, which is a symbol of transformation. I hope that readers will put down the book with a sense of caution, reflection, hope, and appreciation for the opportunities that we have for communion with others."
-- Blogcritics (click here to read more)
"I think the greatest challenge was in not giving up. When I first started submitting short stories to literary reviews, I received dozens upon dozens of rejections. But I stuck with it, continued to work on improving them, and eventually a few acceptances began to trickle in. My first true success was in placing “Hezekiah Number Three” with The Gettysburg Review. Once I saw that first story in print, and held the copy of the issue in my hands, I had enough encouragement to press on. It is true that nothing in the world can take the place of persistence."
-- Examiner (click here to read more)
Click here to visit Ron's official tour page.